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From Products Liability Law Daily, August 3, 2015

NHTSA investigates Uconnect equipment related to recall of 1.4 million Chrysler vehicles

By John Dumoulin

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has opened an investigation in connection with a Chrysler safety recall of approximately 1.4 million model year 2013 through 2015 vehicles equipped with Uconnect 8.4A (RA3) and 8.4AN (RA4) radios manufactured by Harman Kardon (Recall 15V461) [see Products Liability Law Daily’s July 24, 2015 analysis]. According to Chrysler, the vehicles have a software security defect condition that could allow unauthorized third-party access to, and manipulation of, networked vehicle control systems. ODI has opened the investigation to determine the nature and extent of similarities in other infotainment products provided by Harman Kardon to other vehicle manufacturers (NHTSA ODI Investigation, No. EQ15-005, July 29, 2015).

Problem description. According to Chrysler, software security vulnerabilities in the recalled vehicles could allow unauthorized third-party access to, and manipulation of, networked vehicle control systems. Unauthorized access or manipulation of the vehicle control systems could reduce the driver’s control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash with an attendant increased risk of injury to the driver, other vehicle occupants, and other vehicles and their occupants within proximity to the affected vehicle.

Investigation. ODI has opened an investigation to obtain information from Harman Kardon as the supplier of Chrysler Uconnect units to determine the nature and extent of similarities in other infotainment products provided to other vehicle manufacturers. ODI said that if sufficient similarities exist, the investigation will examine if there is cause for concern that security issues exist in other Harman Kardon products. ODI also opened RQ15-004 in connection with the same Chrysler recall on July 24, 2015 [see Products Liability Law Daily’s July 27, 2015 analysis].

Companies: Chrysler; FCA US LLC; Harman International Industries, Inc.

MainStory: TopStory NHTSANews MotorEquipmentNews MotorVehiclesNews

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